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Teenager turns her life around thanks to Community Payback scheme in Deeside

TEENAGER Charlotte Brown turned her life around after ‘one daft moment’ could have ruined her future.

Working part-time at a supermarket check-out while she considered university options, Charlotte, 18, who was living in Saltney Ferry at the time, stole about £1,500.

“I was taken to court and they gave me 300 hours community service which is the maximum, and ordered to pay the money back,” she said.

“It was the first time I had been in trouble. I don’t know what sparked it, I was having a lot of troubles, it was a daft thing I did.”

As part of her sentence, magistrates ordered she had to work on Community Payback projects under the supervision of the North Wales Probation Area.

The idea is offenders repay their debt to society by providing their labour free of charge for the benefit of the community.

The North Wales Probation Area will soon become part of the new Wales Probation Trust.

Charlotte was sent to Dee-Tex, a community recycling project based at Saltney, a social enterprise and not for profit organisation.

Dee-Tex, run by Brian McManus,Š works with voluntary and social agencies to give employment and training opportunities for those who need it – such as community Payback clients, drug offenders or those with learning difficulties.

Not only has Charlotte completed her hours at Dee-Tex, she stayed on as a volunteer and now not only works there full-time but is being trained in peer mentoring to help others in a similar situation.

“A lot of people don’t get second chances. When you are sent to a place like this and meet someone like Brian it gives you a different attitude, it's brilliant, it gives you a different outlook.”

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